I just turned 30 today. I’m not sharing this news to fish for warm birthday wishes or even presents, so everyone can relax. I have never actually been into any of that, but I’m sharing this wonderful news because I feel truly thankful for another year of life.
Growing up, I kept a journal, and in that journal, I would write about my day, my hopes and dreams, and even the most random of thoughts. I would always hear people going on about the power of writing down goals, and sure enough, when I turned 18, I wrote down a list of things I hoped to achieve before I hit 30. Talk of finishing top of my class in university and enrolling for a post-graduate program, becoming a high-flyer in a fulfilling career and taking home a 6-figure salary, driving the car of my dreams, and at home, a family house with a white picket fence that I would share with a loving husband and our beautiful kids. Yes, younger me knew exactly what she wanted out of this life.
Every year on my birthday, I have a little date with myself. I take that time to look back at the year that has been, the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all. Today, 12 years since I made that list, I’m overwhelmed with joy, not because I have achieved everything on there, but because I am very grateful for what I have accomplished. I can confidently say I have checked off some items on that list. I do have a college degree, I own a car, not the best car on the market, but it’s mine, I have a network of awesome friends, a better-than-ok job, and above everything, I’m in near-perfect health.
Over the last few years, I have learned not to stress too much about the things that I don’t have and what I have not been able to achieve. I made a promise to myself that I will not allow myself to get so caught up and lose myself in the mad rat race of life. I have learned to be content in my situation as is, and that is not in any way to say complacent because I know there’s still so much out there for me.
For all the best-laid plans from my 18-year old self, I have learned that life is all about making changes along the way. Ideally, I would have achieved all I had set out to, within the desired timelines, except that this is the real world, not the ideal.
As I celebrate and begin this chapter of my life. I choose to do me and be successful at it. I yearn to find contentment in the simple things of life.
I am grateful for the lessons I have learned. I am happy and feel immensely blessed for the present. I look to the future with a sense of renewed hope, certain of a purpose-driven life.
Today, I am older and wiser. Today, I am thankful and celebrate another year of life. Happy birthday to me.